CELEBRATION is an autobiographical dedication to the legacy of artistic, scientific and social achievements of the 20th century. At the same time, the project serves as a platform for an exploration of the impact of last century’s revolutionary events – particularly the October Revolution of 1917. The occasion is wholly personal – the 50th birthday of its director, the Croatian artist Borut Šeparović.
In anticipation of his birthday, on the day of marking the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, the artist travels to Russia (Saint Petersburg and Moscow), where he actively participates in and documents audio-visual material of the theatrical and cultural events in which citizens of Russia commemorate the historical events that took place a century ago. His travelogue performance “parasitises” the theatrical performance of the Russian Federation, so that the author could ultimately incorporate both into a multimedia celebration of his 50th birthday.
CELEBRATION is the artist’s search for meaning or the final acceptance of meaninglessness. Retracing the footsteps of the revolution simultaneously catalyses intensely personal, autobiographical and intimate reflections on his own transience and mortality, personal disappointments, artistic and political defeats and events.
CELEBRATION is a multimedia performance in the form of a birthday celebration. The artist takes the audience on his autobiographical journey from birth (1967) through childhood, his expectations from art and his life’s disappointments, until he finally sneaks into a fictional part of the story in which he disappears without a trace in the Siberian steppes of Russia. All that is left are the artist’s audio and video recordings, quotes and notes sent to his friends from Russia through text messages and e-mails, the souvenirs he sent by mail. This makes CELEBRATION a farewell of a kind, from both his audience and himself.
The highlight of the performance is a birthday cake with a reproduction of Kazimir Malevich’s painting “Red Cavalry.” The cake shines with fifty lit candles, but none of the guests gets their piece. Instead, the candles burn and melt over the cake, destroying the image and rounding off the multimedia performance.
CELEBRATION was intimately performed in the emptied-out corporate spaces of the Cibona Tower, which served as the headquarters of Agrokor until 2017, in the second half of December.